From the Holding Cell to the Holding Environment: Applying an Intersubjective Approach into Trauma Treatment with Women in the Correctional Setting


Emily Fogle

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Peter Buirski

Second Advisor

John McNeill

Third Advisor

Bradley McMillan


Corrections, Diagnosis, Qualitative research, Women, Intersubjective, Trauma


Abstract This paper investigates themes and parallels related to the traumatic experiences women face within the correctional setting and how these experiences influence women's behavior choices that increase their risk of recidivism. Intersubjective Systems Theory is used to conceptualize the distinct dynamics and impact of trauma with this particular population. Intersubjectivity also informs the changes needed to create an environment that would help women in correctional settings to heal, avoid recidivism, and foster successful community reintegration. Principles from Intersubjective Systems Theory are reviewed in this paper to demonstrate: (a) how developmental trauma impacts the lives of incarcerated women, (b) how these women's attempts at self-healing are often maladaptive and lead to arrests, (c) how the current climate in corrections leads to retraumatization and promotes later recidivism, and (d) what changes in the corrections system would promote optimal healing and better outcomes for incarcerated women. Improved outcomes are defined as healthy boundaries, empowerment in choice of relationships, improvement of social support and occupational skills, and reduction of relapse and recidivism.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


38 pages

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